What Is Community Property?
Before you enter into the property division negotiations of your divorce, it is important to understand how the process works in Washington. There are numerous misconceptions about which property is up for grabs and which is off the table because it is owned by only one spouse. At the Law Offices of Magnuson Lowell P.S. in Redmond, we hope to clear up these misconceptions so you have a better idea of what to expect from your divorce.
We handle mediation, arbitration, and negotiation, and can help you do a lot of the work yourself, if your divorce is uncomplicated and uncontested. Ask about our low fees for specific types of services.
Washington is a community property state. That means that any assets or debts you and your spouse acquired during your marriage are considered community — or joint — property.
Almost any property that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage is subject to division in your divorce. This includes income, real property (such as your home), debts and others. Even if you and your spouse maintained separate bank accounts, they will still be considered community property if money earned during the marriage was deposited into them.
Any assets that were acquired before the marriage are considered separate property and will usually be off the table when it comes to property division. Also, any gifts or inheritances that you received during your marriage are generally considered separate property and not up for division.
When you work with us, our team of lawyers will help you understand which property is community property and which is separate. We can also help you understand your options for dividing property.
In some circumstances, separate property can play a role in asset division. For example, if you or your spouse stopped working outside of the home to take care of the children, it could result in an equitable division of property rather than a 50/50 split.
As your attorneys, we will give you the information you need to make decisions that are best for you. When you have made a decision about how to approach property division, we will aggressively pursue it.
At our firm, your first consultation is free. To schedule yours and learn more about community property, please call us at 425-885-7500 or contact us via email.